NIRJULI, Dec 1: The Indigenous Faith Day was celebrated across the state on 1 December with emphasis on preserving the state’s unique culture and tradition.
Colourful cultural performances marked the day’s celebration, which was organized by the Indigenous Faith & Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh (IFCSAP) at the Nyikum Niya Ground here on Saturday.
The celebrations began with a vehicle rally which began from RK Mission helipad at Ganga, Itanagar and culminated at the Nyikum Niya ground here.
Greeting the huge gathering on the occasion, All India Vivekananda Kendra vice president, Padmashree Nivedita Bhide said, “With changing times our rich age-old traditions also need to change as growth of culture and development go hand in hand. Progress of a society and nation without development of tradition and culture is meaningless.”
She expressed concern over the gradual loss of indigenous faith and tradition and exhorted all to remain united to preserve their unique tradition and faith. She further emphasized the need for mutual respect amongst believers of all religions and said that despite the diversity of the country there is still unity and brotherhood amongst people of all religions.
“We have to commit ourselves to the protection and preservation of our indigenous faith. It is our culture and we have to preserve it at all costs,” she added.
Earlier, IFCSAP president Tajom Tasung paid rich tributes to late Talom Rukbo on his 83rd birth anniversary and recalled his immense contributions in the indigenous faith movement of the state.
Highlighting the various activities being undertaken in the state by the IFCSAP, including workshops against drug abuse, women empowerment etc, Tasung exhorted youths to carry forward the IFCSAP movement to all parts of the state.
He further informed that the IFCSAP plans to establish a total of 300 prayer centers at various districts of the state to strengthen the movement.
All India Executive member Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), Gunwant Singh Kothari, who was also present during the celebrations, recalled the contributions of late Talom Rukbo in the promotion of indigenous faith movement in the state. He further called upon the state’s young generation to shoulder the responsibility of preservation of their indigenous traditions and beliefs.
While urging the people of Arunachal to sturdily defend their unique identity, Kothari assured all out support of his organization towards the preservation of indigenous tribal culture and faith.
Also speaking on the occasion, Director of Engineering at Facebook, USA, Sachin Kulkarni praised the rich diversity of the state and urged all to put an extra effort to preserve their indigenous culture in the face of changing times.
“Arunachal Pradesh, despite such diversity has managed to maintain peaceful co-existence for so long. It is indeed appreciable and should be considered an example for other nations in the world,” Kulkarni said.
He also appealed to the state government to work towards improving the road communication so that the true potential of the state’s tourism sector is realized.
At Tawang district, the Indigenous Faith day was celebrated at Zomkhang hall of Tawang town, where Ven Dr Rikya Lhavoi Rinpoche and Padmashree Ven Thupten Phuntsok stressed on the importance of the day and appealed to the youths to preserve and promote their cultural heritage.
Principal of Dorjee Khandu Government College, Dr Yeshi Gyaltsen also called on the gathering to move ahead with the inevitable changing society, but not at the cost of one’s culture and faith.
President of the All Monpa Students’ Union Urgen Dorjee and vice president Tenzin Dhargey also spoke on the urgent need to preserve culture and tradition in this fast-moving century of multi-cultured civilization.
Other resource persons present were Tawang Monastery teacher Geshi Thupten Gendun, Monpa Mimang Tshokpa secretary Rinchin Norbu and Phuntso Dhondup.
Our correspondent adds: In East Siang, the day was celebrated with religious fervour under the joint aegis of the IFCSAP and Donyi Polo Yelam Kebang, which included hoisting of the Donyi-Polo flag, invocation prayer and discussion of the issues pertaining to indigenous faith and cultural practices at the .
Addressing the celebration at the Nari Mopin ground here in Ruksin, renowned priest (Nyibu) Tabin Karloh said that Donyipoloism ties various tribal communities under the Abotani group residing in Arunachal and Assam.
He appealed to the people dwelling at boundary areas to maintain cordial relations by conducting community festivals and other celebrations together.
Karloh also elaborated on the religious aspects of Donyipoloism and urged the followers to adopt the religious way for moral and spiritual development.
Nari ADC Bani Lego, organizing committee president Mukpe Sora and secretary Toni Kadu urged the IFCSAP members to work for promotion of unity and integrity among the community people.
The day was also celebrated at Pasighat Central Gangging with great enthusiasm.
Reports of celebration of the day have also poured in from Mebo, Sille-Oyan, Bilat and Ruksin circles of East Siang district, besides Likabali, Basar and other parts in and around the Siang belt.
VKV Dollungmukh also celebrated the Indigenous Faith Day enthusiastically with an indigenous faith preservation rally from the school campus and across Dollungmukh village.
Over 250 students, teaching staff and parents of the VKV participated in the rally on Saturday.
School teacher Sumit Brah spoke on the significance of the day and highlighted the importance of preserving Indigenous faith and culture.
NHPC manager Jumkar Dabi appealed to the students to be disciplined in life, and preserve the rich cultural heritage of Arunachal Pradesh to keep their identities intact. (With inputs from DIPROs)